Microsoft announces that the Shop Direct Group has embraced the Windows 7 operating system to support its ambitious online growth plans for 2011. Shop Direct Group, one of largest online and shop-at-home retail companies in UK, operating under 11 well-known brands such as Littlewoods, Very, Woolworths, Marshall Ward, Kays and Great Universal. Company has 10,000 employees and is based in Liverpool, England, with warehouses and contact centers throughout UK. Shop Direct Group decided to upgrade its 10,000 computers to Windows 7, in addition to Internet Explorer 8 browser, based on a successful pilot deployment of over 100 computers in company’s lab environment. It also implemented Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager 2007 R2 for centralized deployment and management, and is also planning to upgrade its 350 servers from Windows Server 2003 to Windows Server 2008 R2. To address its virtual private network (VPN) challenges, Shop Direct Group evaluated DirectAccess, a feature of Windows 7 that, when combined with Windows Server 2008 R2, enables employees to connect to the corporate network from virtually any Internet connection.